Murray wins Monte Carlo opener but Edmund loses in epic to Nadal

 

By Jake Davies

  • Andy Murray [1] defeats Gilles Muller 7-5 7-5
  • Andy Murray [1] vs Albert Ramos-Vinolas [15]
  • Rafael Nadal [4] defeats Kyle Edmund 6-0 5-7 6-3
MONTE CARLO, MONACO – Andy Murray had a triumphant, if a little trying return to the tour with a straight sets win over Gilles Muller, but Kyle Edmund forced defending champion Rafael Nadal to three sets at the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters.

 

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Andy Murray [1] def. Gilles Muller 7-5 7-5

Andy Murray‘s return to a tennis court turned out a little scratchy in parts, but the most important thing was starting his clay season in the winning column by beating Gilles Muller in straight sets.

Murray was a break down after the opening game and served three double faults in that single game. The World No.1 faced two set points at *4-5 in the first set, but turned the set around to win it 7-5.

He also found himself a break down in the second set, but won the second set by the same scoreline in just under two hours and now faces Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters.

 

Murray [1] vs Ramos-Vinolas [15] H2H: First meeting

Murray’s next obstacle does not get any easier. The difficulty with playing Ramos-Vinolas is that he has enjoyed most of his success on the red clay. The Spaniard is playing some of his best tennis and is at a career-high ranking of No.24, so will have his sights set on a Top 20 ranking and an upset win over Murray would go a long way to sealing that.

It is the first time Murray will meet Ramos-Vinolas, which is always difficult to adjust to, but the World No.1 boasts a formidable record against left-handed players, losing just 22 of 101 matches. 17 of those losses were against Rafael Nadal, so it really does emphasise the stranglehold he has over left-handed players not named Nadal.

Prediction: Murray in two sets

 

Rafael Nadal [4] def. Kyle Edmund 6-0 5-7 6-3

British No.3 Kyle Edmund lost his second round match against No.4 seed Nadal in the Monte Carlo Masters. Edmund was second best for the entirety of the first set, where he suffered a bagel set to the Spaniard, but a sudden fight back from Edmund gives British tennis fans a lot of hope for the rest of the clay season and beyond.

Edmund went on to take the second set 7-5, before losing out in a tough third set. Edmund showed great fight and stomach for the battle, which has been one of the criticisms laid towards him in his development. The Briton looked like he enjoyed the heat of the battle and pushed the nine-time Monte Carlo champion to his physical limits because of his aggressive forehand down the line, which gave Nadal something to ponder in the second and third set.

This result could mean a lot for Edmund, who could now go on to believe that he has the game and the belief to compete with the very best on his preferred surface. Edmund has pushed the likes of Novak Djokovic and Murray on different surfaces and one could argue that he is not that far away from a standout win against one of the elite tennis players.

 

When & Where to watch Andy Murray

Who is Murray playing? Albert Ramos-Vinolas [15] (ESP)
Head to Head? First meeting
What time is Murray playing & where? Murray & Ramos Vinolas are scheduled on Court Rainer III at 11am (10am BST)
Where/How to watch Murray’s match? Sky Sports 1 (h/t Tennis on UK TV)

 

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